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24th Jun, 2022

Coronavirus: Solihull secondary school closes as infection spreads between year groups

John Carlon 23rd Sep, 2020 Updated: 23rd Sep, 2020

A SCHOOL in Solihull has closed just weeks into the new term, owing to accelerating coronavirus infections.

Arden Academy in Knowle has sent pupils home for the next fortnight, after staff and pupils across year groups contracted Covid-19.

Mamoona Tahir, Public Health England Midlands consultant in disease control said: “We are working closely with Arden Academy to provide public health advice to help prevent the spread of the virus. With the help of the school we have identified staff and children who were close contacts of the confirmed cases and they must now self-isolate for 14 days from last exposure to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

“The school management have taken all the measures they could to protect children and staff from catching the virus. They have implemented government guidance to the letter, undertaking careful assessments and reviewing the control measures in place when they were notified of new cases of coronavirus.

“It is the joint decision to close the site and ask children to access their learning remotely, the reasons are two-fold. There is a need to try to break the chain of Covid-19 infection in the school community, which if left unchecked would result in more infected individuals, a protracted outbreak and a longer period of closure. Also, having assessed available staffing levels, there is concern regarding having sufficient resources to implement current guidelines and safely support pupil learning and wellbeing.”

Martin Murphy, the Arden Multi Academy Trust CEO, said: “This has been a difficult decision to make and we realise the upset and inconvenience this will cause. However, the health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff and wider community are our priority.

“Our hope is that by closing the school now, we can press the reset button and start back in two weeks’ time infection free. I can assure you that we will continue to be guided by Public Health and will do everything possible to avoid a school closure in the future. We look forward to seeing all our pupils again on October 7 and in the meantime we have no doubt that our students will continue to work hard and engage in their learning remotely.”

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